Derrius Guice and Lamar Miller are being rated back-to-back in most rankings, and represent two different styles of playing fantasy football. Miller of the Houston Texans is the safe bet. He is a back who will put up consistent points on a weekly basis. He will never explode for huge games, but will also rarely bottom out and put up a goose egg. Washington Redskins runner Guice is the complete opposite. He is a back who is coming back from injury and has never started an NFL game. However, he has the talent to run circles over Miller all day. Guice is the back to draft rather than Miller this season.
Fantasy Football: Draft Derrius Guice Over Lamar Miller
Miller has reached his peak as a player and has nowhere to go but down. He hasn’t had 1,000 yards rushing in three years. In fact, he’s only eclipsed that threshold twice his entire career. The only thing that gives him any fantasy value is his usage in the passing game. But even that hasn’t been great the past few years. In 2017, Miller had 327 yards and three touchdowns. But, in 2018 and 2016 combined, Miller only totaled 351 yards and two touchdowns through the air.
Another reason that Miller has stayed on the field in years past is that he has had no competition to take him off of it. For a while, there was talk of D’Onta Foreman coming in and stealing touches from him. But this never materialized, as Foreman couldn’t stay on the field and was cut. Alfred Blue was a staple as the team’s backup, but he was horrible, sporting a 3.3 yards-per-carry (YPC) average for the team in 2018.
Enter the Duke
Coming into 2019, Miller probably knows that his days are numbered. The team traded for disgruntled Cleveland Browns back, Duke Johnson. Johnson may not come in and outright steal the job from Miller, but he will probably cut into his share enough to take away Miller’s fantasy value.
Johnson makes his money catching passes out of the backfield. In his four years with the Browns, Johnson never has less than 400 yards receiving. He even boasts one year, 2017, where he put up 693 yards through the air.
And he isn’t necessarily bad on the ground when given the opportunity either. On his career, he checks in a 4.3 YPC average. His only issue is that he has never even rushed for 400 yards.
Go for Derrius Guice
Compared to Miller, Guice is the unknown. But this is what makes him the better pick. Guice missed his entire rookie season with a torn ACL he suffered in the preseason. Guice’s role is also in question, as the team just extended the legendary Adrian Peterson for another year. But championships go to those who take chances on the unknowns. And most would agree, that Guice has a much higher ceiling than Miller.
And those who do roll the dice on Guice will have to be patient. Peterson, still had a surprisingly good year last season, rushing for over 1,000 yards. But he is also 34 years old and his body has gone through a ton of wear and tear. Sure the Redskins extended him, but more as insurance while Guice gets healthy. Peterson might start the year off stronger, but the split will go more and more towards Guice as the year goes on.
The team didn’t take him high into the second round for nothing. Just watch some of his college highlights:
Derrius Guice’s 2015 Highlight Video: pic.twitter.com/dZSGdatD04
— William Quantrill (@WillyQuantrill) October 1, 2016
As of now, Guice and Miller are going almost back-to-back as the RB29 and RB30. Last season, Miller finished as the RB22, so Miller’s ADP lends itself to a good amount of regression. There is the possibility that Miller lands right at his ADP. But, there isn’t a good chance that he outlives it. His receiving totals will probably disappear in favor of Johnson’s. He also undoubtedly even loses some rushing snaps to him as well. Not to mention that Miller is getting older.
Guice still carries a bigger risk. His role is completely up in the air at this point. He has yet to take an NFL regular-season snap, so who knows how he will do at the NFL level. Besides, that, ACL injuries are fickle, and sometimes a player can take a season to get back to full health. But, the potential Guice gives is just too high to pass up. He could completely blow his ADP out of the water if he ends up locking down that starting position.